What started out as some links and commentary on a discussion of Pigovian taxation ended up becoming an entire post on my Tumblr instead.
And then I did it again. Now I analyze how much money matters in politics. Answer: it’s complicated?
One interesting way to think of ethics is as protecting you from yourself: “But why not become an expert liar, if that’s what maximizes expected utility? Why take the constrained path of truth, when things so much more important are at stake? Because, when I look over my history, I find that my ethics have, above all, protected me from myself. They weren’t inconveniences. They were safety rails on cliffs I didn’t see. I made fundamental mistakes, and my ethics didn’t halt that, but they played a critical role in my recovery.”
Speaking of very lengthy discussions, here’s one on libertarianism, and why it’s sorta wrong sorta misguided sorta maybe? On the other end of things (by the same author), we get a left-libertarian manifesto. Left-libertarianism sounds pretty good to me, quite in line with my discussion of Pigovian taxation earlier.
An interesting study looks at how donors respond to evidence of effectiveness in advertisements of charities. The paper hypothesizes that those who are altruistically-inclined respond positively to evidence, whereas those who are donating to seek a “warm glow” of personal happiness respond negatively to evidence.
A new Pew survey finds that Americans don’t feel ready for a future of driverless cars, lab grown meat, and servant robots. However, as “From Yuck to Yippee” in Reason Magazine points out, people tend to be opposed to new potential technology right until they become actual, like in vitro fertilization.
Once upon a time, I wrote a summary of “earning to give”, or the idea of looking specifically for a high paying job in order to earn a lot of money, and then use your large disposable income to donate to charity. Now, Pablo Stafforini has expanded that work into a larger annotated bibliography.